Built.io Blog

The Internet of APIs – The Connected Car

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Connected vehicles have made big strides in the past couple years. The idea of connecting a vehicle to the Internet and an essentially unlimited web of services is no longer just a dream. Today's cars already have sophisticated internal networking, connecting 30 or more Electronic Control Units (ECUs) together in realtime to control every aspect of the car’s systems, from window switches to collision avoidance. The next step is to bring this wealth of information to an external network of cars, infrastructure, and applications.

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The connected vehicle space is projected to be a $2.3 trillion market with software and hardware accounting for $152 billion according to Business Insider’s Connected Car Forecast. Seamless integration of hardware and software is necessary to continue the current pace of development. With this continuous progress comes the predicament of stable integration with legacy systems. Vehicles are normally driven for 6 years according to KBB, so older hardware must be able to interface with the latest software packages easily and without destabilizing safety systems or detracting from the end-user experience.

Current Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) features range from lane departure prevention to smartphone integration and gesture control. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are connecting more and more sensors together to create driver aides that help create a safer and more enjoyable driving experience. The ability to integrate multiple sensors into a stable network is key to the development of future ADAS.

Car manufacturers are only partially integrating smart devices because of the fragmented mobile OS space and government restrictions on the use of mobile devices in vehicles. With the focus on infotainment, there is a demand for connecting these entertainment-focused systems with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) by regulators as well as consumers. Many companies, such as BMW and Mercedes, have begun integrating these systems into a driver-focused vehicle. Mercedes has a system that monitors the driver state, so if the driver doses off the vehicle can take control and come to a safe stop.

Gregory Krueger, who manages the Connected Vehicle program at Leidos, integrates current programs, program objectives and future research needs of the Connected Vehicle program with the US Department of Transportation. From his perspective,"The fully connected vehicle integrates with mapping, traffic and other database tools to provide the vehicle (and driver) with a situational awareness of its surroundings that far surpasses the ability of a human using eyes and ears alone."

Establishment and adoption of standards is likely to drive success in the connected car space. "The act of driving is becoming less about the car and more about the world around the car. This requires that not only the vehicle is built to one set of standards but also that the infrastructure in all locations use the same standards, which presents many challenges and opportunities," Krueger states. "One of the keys to the successful deployment of this technology is the use of standards for V2X communications to ensure that a vehicle sold in Toronto will work in Los Angeles and a vehicle sold in Miami will work in Dubuque."

As the connected vehicle space matures and becomes better defined, car manufacturers will have to implement a hybrid of software and hardware packages to best suit their vehicle lineup and brand image while ensuring they meet the regulations that will soon be placed over the connected vehicle ecosystem. An integration platform that allows car manufacturers to easily connect hardware sensors to different software packages will help automakers to continuously iterate while maintaining a system that can run on older vehicles and remain on the cutting edge of the connected car space.

Next week Built.io CEO, Neha Sampat, will be speaking on a panel titled, “IoT Developer Workshop: Connected Car Apps” at AppNation IoT Influencers Summit alongside Leidos’ Connected Vehicle Program Manager, Greg Krueger, and representatives from Ellis & Associates and the Application Developers Alliance. This deep-dive session for current and prospective connected car app developers will dig-in to the rapidly evolving connected car ecosystem and highlight where the current and emerging app development are — and will be.

Be sure to make it to Levi’s Stadium on July 21st at 10:55AM for this exciting panel featuring IoT and connected car space leaders.

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